The problems caused by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan led to a sudden demand in Finland for information on the spread of radiation from stricken nuclear plants in the country. At some Finnish pharmacies iodine pills ran out.
Although there is no immediate danger of radiation in Finland, difficulties emerged in disseminating information on the matter.
Problems began at Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) on Saturday morning when the first reports of a leak at the Fukushima nuclear power plant came out in the Finnish media. Later the online pages crashed completely.
A scaled-down version of the website developed for special situations also got jammed. There had been no problems when use of the pages was practised before.
The reserve pages were up and running again after a few hours.
On Monday STUK opened a Facebook site.
Work by various official bodies on a crisis communication website began in 2005 after the tsunami in the Indian Ocean at the end of 2004.
The pages are almost ready; the Office of the Prime Minister reports that the site is nearly ready to go online.
The exact date of the launch remains open.
STUK also plans to ascertain how Finland’s nuclear facilities are prepared for floods and other natural upheavals. The agency's report is to be submitted to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
The report will put special emphasis on how power plants themselves will be assured of a sufficient supply of electricity for emergency measures.